Within shops offering a grinding as a service, you will find only a few who are able or willing to complete carbide grinding for customers and clients. Most machine shops, even if they offer general ID and OD grinding will not offer this specific type of service.
The reason that carbide grinding is not commonly done in non-specialized shops is because it poses specific challenges that are not present when grinding other types of alloys, metals and other types of materials such as rubber and plastic.
With this type of grinding, as the name implies, carbide, which is a non-ferrous metal, is processed using a silicon carbide grinding surface. It is often used for components in the aerospace industry, and, with new technology and equipment, it can be used to create a variety of different shapes and options.
Carbide grinding can be used for both internal and outside diameter grinding processes, so in some ways it is very similar in capabilities to other standard types of grinding operations.
Carbide tends to result in a very smooth and polished looking surface, which is always highly desirable. In addition, the properties of carbide including the fact it is almost two times stiffer than steel as well as harder and denser makes it easier to work with as an alloy, but much more challenging to process without the right equipment.
The process of carbide grinding requires expertise on the part of the staff. Combining the most experienced in working with metal and the top machines and best grinding technology results in incredible tolerances and extremely high surface finishes on both large and small parts through this process.
For most components today, carbide grinding will be completed with the use of CNC machines. This automation and computer control of the equipment not only ensures every part is identical, but that every part is identical to the prototype.
With the new types of CNC machines, carbide grinding can be used to create much more elaborate shapes and design options than can be accurately produced and reproduced with other types of technology. And, with increased accuracy comes less waste and more efficiency, helping to reduce the cost of this traditionally labor intensive type of grinding service.